Memorandum from Amicus
It is now well over a year since MRC set up
a Task Force to review the options available to it for the continuation
of the NIMR, following substantial criticism of its conduct of
the Forward Investment Strategy Review.
Throughout this period. Members have sought
only that any review should be open and transparent and look objectively
at all the options available from the following view points:
Impact on employees and current/future
Although MRC has moved towards better communication
with its employees at NIMR, there remains as issue of transparency
around the ultimate objective concerning the future of the NIMR.
At the most recent Employee Consultation Meeting
of 20 September, MRC re-iterated its view that the current NIMR
location would not be an option, although it would be the bench
mark against which the other two options would be judged.
In its exchanges with employees and their representatives,
MRC has provided no evidence to support the view that a relocation
to Central London would provide:
A better range or quality of academic
and/or clinical science.
Significantly greater opportunities
for academic and/or clinical collaborations.
Better and/or more cost effective
infrastructure to meet the research needs.
Against this, our members believe the following
must also be measured:
The cost of new build or refurbishment
at a new location with the costs for the current site.
The possible loss of the extensive
facilities at the current site and the effect of this on future
scientific opportunities, if these can not be reproduced at the
The loss of the Institute as a national
resource if it becomes embedded in one or more host institutions
on one or more sites. This may raise issues about the governance
of such a resource.
The effect on morale and staffing
levels over a prolonged period of uncertainty over the future
The Amicus membership welcomes any review or
inquiry that assists the open consideration of NIMR's future.
It readily accepts that progression in science frequently requires
change, but it firmly believes that such change should be made
on the basis of evidence, in a transparent way. Amicus would welcome
the opportunity to discuss these issues fully.
22 November 2004